“It is a very difficult time for people, but we’ve continued essential face-to-face appointments in the homes of families or in our COVID-secure Family Hubs situated across the county.
“To keep everyone as safe as possible while we see out the pandemic, we continue to carry out a huge volume of group and one-to-one sessions virtually, including ‘preparing for baby’ and infant feeding classes”, said Jeannette, a Health Visitor working at our Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service.
“Feelings of loneliness, helplessness and isolation can be common, especially for new parents or those expecting a baby. This is particularly challenging during this pandemic where government efforts to keep everyone safe naturally creates less face-to-face contact in the community.
“So this also means less opportunity to recognise or speak out about domestic abuse. Families aren’t leaving their homes as much and especially now with the added strain of home-schooling, parents are indoors often within hearing-reach of the rest of their family.
“But if you visit us, you have an opportunity to privately speak about any domestic hardships you and your partner may be experiencing – don’t wait to contact us, we’re here to help”.
Services that have been changed include:
- Routine assisted baby self-weigh slots that we have recently introduced in Family Hubs and Delivery Sites will temporarily cease and these slots will be reserved for families who have been identified following a virtual assessment as having a concern that can only be resolved via a face-to-face consultation
- The Under 1 year and 2.5 to 3-year developmental reviews will continue to be conducted virtually
- National Child Measuring Programme (NCMP) will temporarily cease
- Midwifery and childhood immunisation clinics will continue being delivered from some of the Family hubs and Delivery Sites.
“We’re also open for all Pre-birth to 19 service users, not just the Under 5 category, so we encourage young people and their parents to contact us too”, said Jeannette. “We are ready and here to help you”.
For more information, visit essexfamilywellbeing.co.uk or call 0300 247 0014 if you live in Mid Essex, 0300 247 0015 for North Essex, 0300 247 0013 for South Essex or 0300 247 0122 for West Essex residents.
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